Last month, we came across many incidents of heat stroke amongst chinchillas. In many cases, they passed even after vet visit. Part of the problems is due to El Nino causing temperatures in Singapore to soar to 36-38C this year. The other part is many of us were not prepared for it. Here are top 10 items you need to know get yourself prepared:
Chinchilla cages are commonly placed in the living area or room. It is often the coolest and windy area of the home. But is it enough? Normal temperature in a Singapore home should be around hovering 27-30C. But temperatures can soar higher on warm month due to monsoon seasons. Having a environment thermometer helps us detect these difficult periods. Most of these units can give out an alarm if the temperature soared above certain set temperature. It could also detect the highest and lowest temperature for the day. Most incidents of heat stroke occurs at temperatures above 30C. Ideal safe temperature for keeping your quality chinchilla should be below 25-26C .
Water coolers are the latest cool gadgets to keep us cool. Many of them runs on water or cold packs to keep the air cold. They are good for short term usage.I do not recommend long term usage because they tends to increase the humidity too much. High humidity can cause the chinchilla fur to be damp and wet, not very ideal for long term usage.
On the other hand, fan are good in keeping the air cool and remove warm air from the cage. But if the environment temperature is too high, it will only be blowing warm air on the chinchilla. Operating cost for fan can sometimes be near to an energy saving air-conditioned unit.
4.Air Conditioning – Portable
Portable air-conditioning with heat exhaust and water drain containers are cheaper alternatives to full split system unit. We have a 9000hp unit on stand-by incase our air conditioning unit broke down. But having to drain the water daily from its drain pipe can a be painful task for busy people like me.
Always have a cold pack on stand-by in the freezer. Place it near your chinchilla head if you suspect it is suffering from heat stroke. It helps to cool down the body temperature. But do note survival rate for heat stroke is very low.
6.Cool Pad and House
These are good items to have to keep your chinchilla cool. That why we have a lot of pieces of ceramic house stashed in the cupboard. Here
Dusting your chinchilla often can helps to remove heat from the body of your chinchilla. Dust them daily during warm months. Link Here
We always recommend grooming your chinchillas during warm period. It helps to remove dead fur and trapped dirt from the body. It also enable the fur to be penetrated, thus keeping the chinchilla cool, less lethagic and healthy. Never water bath your chinchilla to keep them cool. High humidity in Singapore make drying fully never possible. Many incidents of chinchilla developed fungal infection from damp fur (resulted from water bathing their chinchilla).
We have always recommended that the running wheel be installed in the play cage. Running wheel can be killer exercise machines during warmer period. Some chinchillas especially young ones over exerted themselves on the wheel. Even in air-conditioned room, they may not able to dissipate the heat fast enough. If your chinchilla spends a lot of time on the wheel, it is recommended to remove them from their cage.
Avoid cages made entirely or partially from glass or acrylic. These cages tends to trap heat and ammonia in them. Many chinchillas died not from consuming plastics but heat trapped in these cages. Some of the examples are as per below:
These cages tends to increase the enclosed temperature by 2-10C depends on the design.
There you have it! TOP10 things to know on how to combat heat during warm periods. Our home temperature last night was 29C.That is partially the reason behind them sleeping soundly and cool in my air conditioned room. Alway Keep Them Chill!!!